I’ve been away from my blog for a month because I’ve been traveling, moving and recovering from jet lag. Towards the end of 2014 I was in Madras for my brothers wedding. I was there to provide my brother with moral support and a steady stream of fart jokes. The wedding and reception were on the 30th and 31st which meant everyone was on a year end holiday so were free to attend the wedding.
My grandmother arrived a week before in order to spend some time with us. Now my grandma is a rockstar. She only ever travels with her entourage. Its like she is the honey and the entourage are the bees around it. Wherever she goes, they go. One of the ladies from her entourage, lets call her Jan, is considered to be her hand maiden. Jan is a character. Her voice has a particular pitch which is indescribable. She is loud, demanding and always wants to be the centre of attention. She is also extremely helpful and makes the best ginger tea. Jan is from Tirunelveli, just like my family. She isn’t educated, so her only mode of “learning” is the television.
Ever since both, my grandma and Jan laid their eyes on me, the only question they asked me was “Are you pregnant?”. Not “When do you intend to have a child?”, but straight up “Are you pregnant?”. I think, I THINK, I might have put on some weight since my wedding two years ago.
I am used to evading this question. I’ve had two years of experience tackling it. So this time around it didn’t bother me much. I just smiled and said “God willing”. I didn’t even bat an eyelid when on the eve of her return back to Tirunelveli Jan said, “The next time you come you should have a boy baby!”. I just attributed her need to stress on the sex of the child to her education which was nil and to her exposure to the outside world which again, is through the idiot box. I also ignored my grandma nodding in agreement to her. My grandma is over 90 years old, has ten children and so many grandchildren and great grandchildren that she can’t be bothered to count. I am just next on her list to procreate.
Once the wedding was over we had a stream of relatives come by our house to see the new bride and groom. This gave me a chance to meet all of them again before I left and also gave me the practice to hit the “When are you going to have a baby” questions outside the park. One of the women who came to visit us was a lady who I liked a lot. She is in the education field and I held her in high regard. After chit chatting and drinking adequate cups of tea it was time for her to leave. She hugged me and said in my ear, “God willing, the next time you come, you should come with a baby boy.”
Now this lady is educated. Her profession was in the field of education. She is smart, enterprising and SO BACKWARD. I do not understand her need to stress on the gender of the child. And what is this obsession with having a boy?! Did people not understand the biology they taught in school? There is a 50-50 chance of the fetus turning out any which way. No matter what we say or do isn’t going to control the sex of the fetus! We can hope, wish and pray for a boy but whoopsie when there’s a girl at the end of nine months nobody can be held responsible.
It honestly amazes me that this lady with all her education could say something like that. I didn’t bother when Jan said it, because Jan and her world are very small. But if both minds work this way then what use is education when people fail to grasp the basic concepts of life? And when is this pride of having a son going to fade? People should be thrilled at the prospects of having a girl. They should concentrate on bringing up an educated and strong woman, instead of “When you were born, we thought you would be a boy.”
The most worrying part of having a girl, at least from my observation, is what the parents will “give” her at the time of the wedding. This problem can be solved if everyone “gives” their a child, boy or girl, education and sound moral character. In this utopia both the sexes are strong enough that they don’t posses the need to compensate for their gender by bringing in money and material things into the relationship.
Clearly this utopia can only be a dream because for some people, no amount of education can rectify their basic thinking.
Also, no, I’m no pregnant.
14 thoughts on “Questions & Answers”
Aww! Can anyone escape this question? And regarding gender, thinking in terms of future expense is one thing. What irks me most is the belief that only Boys are considered to be heirs!
Honestly, I don’t think this kind of discrimination will ever cease to exist.
Its sad ,man. A lot of educated people are backward in their thinking. Forget the previous generation like these aunties, but a friend who is our generation commented on how depressed I would possibly be if my hypothetical second one was also a girl.I was shocked and said in fact, I want another girl as I love the thought of two sisters. Anyway , she was 26 years old, an engineer and working professional who said this. Awful! Love your description of your grandmom btw, I visualized her almost regal from this!
Hahaa! My grand mom is pretty awesome! It’s terrible when even younger people think this way. I can’t imagine what sort of example they will be setting for this children.
hehehe grandma sounds like she is a quentin tarantino character. I can’t imagine wondering if any of them actually think childbirths are miracles or check-points to flag off.
Now that’s a first! Childbirth is definitely starting to feel like a check box to be checked on the list of things. I don’t mind that. I would just like the timing to be left to me!
There truly are some people who I believe were put on this earth to stun me. Education = just a fancy degree for them and not broadening minds, hearts and horizons.
I get this all the time. It amazes me how people from all backgrounds keep asking if I’m pregnant. No, just fat :D
Or nope, that’s just my dinner!
How have I missed this post?! I can relate SO HARD. Some random aunty was so horrified by my lack of pregnancy 6 months into marriage that she asked my mum if my “cycle” was “regular”. How is it ok to go around asking nonsense like that?! It’s worse when they bring in some weird religious angle to the whole thing. Ugh ugh. Great post!
Hahaha! I can’t believe she asked your mom that! You should just say, “No aunty, I don’t know to cycle”! People have lost sense of the term “boundaries”!!
Totally relatable. This was a good read. Not that they annoy us by that question but also with that gender discrimanation. I could still recall saying back to those aunties that girls are blessings. Sadly, this questions and their typical mind has no ending. Loved this post. Thumbs up 👍